US7066291B2 - Robot system - Google Patents

Robot system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US7066291B2
US7066291B2 US10433434 US43343403A US7066291B2 US 7066291 B2 US7066291 B2 US 7066291B2 US 10433434 US10433434 US 10433434 US 43343403 A US43343403 A US 43343403A US 7066291 B2 US7066291 B2 US 7066291B2
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
robot
mobile
autonomous
operation
module
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
US10433434
Other versions
US20040093650A1 (en )
Inventor
Gösta Martins
Mats Hallgren
Giovanni C. Pettinaro
Jörgen Bergmark
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Unibap AB
Original Assignee
ABB AB
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0212Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory
    • G05D1/0225Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles with means for defining a desired trajectory involving docking at a fixed facility, e.g. base station or loading bay
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25JMANIPULATORS; CHAMBERS PROVIDED WITH MANIPULATION DEVICES
    • B25J19/00Accessories fitted to manipulators, e.g. for monitoring, for viewing; Safety devices combined with or specially adapted for use in connection with manipulators
    • B25J19/02Sensing devices
    • B25J19/026Acoustical sensing devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25JMANIPULATORS; CHAMBERS PROVIDED WITH MANIPULATION DEVICES
    • B25J5/00Manipulators mounted on wheels or on carriages
    • B25J5/007Manipulators mounted on wheels or on carriages mounted on wheels
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25JMANIPULATORS; CHAMBERS PROVIDED WITH MANIPULATION DEVICES
    • B25J9/00Programme-controlled manipulators
    • B25J9/08Programme-controlled manipulators characterised by modular constructions
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0268Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using internal positioning means
    • G05D1/0274Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using internal positioning means using mapping information stored in a memory device
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L2220/00Electrical machine types; Structures or applications thereof
    • B60L2220/40Electrical machine applications
    • B60L2220/46Wheel motors, i.e. motor connected to only one wheel
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0231Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means
    • G05D1/0246Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using optical position detecting means unsing a video camera in combination with image processing means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0255Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using acoustic signals, e.g. ultra-sonic singals
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D1/00Control of position, course or altitude of land, water, air, or space vehicles, e.g. automatic pilot
    • G05D1/02Control of position or course in two dimensions
    • G05D1/021Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles
    • G05D1/0276Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle
    • G05D1/028Control of position or course in two dimensions specially adapted to land vehicles using signals provided by a source external to the vehicle using a RF signal
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D2201/00Application
    • G05D2201/02Control of position of land vehicles
    • G05D2201/0206Vehicle in a health care environment, e.g. for distribution of food or medicins in a hospital or for helping handicapped persons
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D2201/00Application
    • G05D2201/02Control of position of land vehicles
    • G05D2201/0211Vehicle in an office environment, e.g. for delivering mail or for videoconferencing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D2201/00Application
    • G05D2201/02Control of position of land vehicles
    • G05D2201/0215Vacuum cleaner
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles

Abstract

A mobile robot system for performing a plurality of separate operations, and including at least one autonomous wheeled mobile robot having at least one wheel-driving motor, an on-board computer, a system for navigation, orientation, and maneuvering in an environment with moving obstacles, a sensor system, a wireless communication system operative to receive and send signals, and a plurality of dockable operation modules and operative to be selectively coupled to the autonomous mobile robot to form an operation unit, wherein the autonomous wheeled mobile robot autonomously docks to the dockable operation modules.

Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a robot system comprising a wheeled automatic robot and more particularly to a system including an autonomous robot having onboard data processing, sensor, guidance and communication means. More specifically, such a system comprises an autonomous robot, which per se is suitable for use in such a system. The invention also relates to a method of performing operations with the aid of an autonomous robot, a computer software product to carry out the method as well as a particular use of such a robot system. A robot in this context should mean a mobile robot and more precisely a wheeled mobile robot. The expression autonomous robot hereinafter means a robot that is self-governed such that the robot, on a given order, manages itself to find its way to a target location and carry out an ordered operation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mobile robots have been known for quite some time both in the realm of science fiction and now in the real world. A first category of such robots are manually controlled. From a stationary location separated from the robot, it is controlled by wire or by wireless communication to carry out operations which are sometimes dangerous to man. A second category of these robots are automatically controlled. In a first aspect, these robots are arranged to automatically follow a track, which sometimes is invisible. Such a robot carries means for steering along a predefined track. In a second more sophisticated aspect of these mobile robots, they are equipped with an onboard computer by which they perform tasks of their own by a preprogrammed calculation.

Among the automatic robots there are specially two kinds: the track-finding robot and the border-finding robot, or combinations of the two. The track-finding robot carries means for finding a track, which in most cases is a buried wire that radiates a magnetic field. In yet another embodiment of this system, the track-finding means comprises a navigation system from which the robot finds out the predetermined track. The border-finding robot is typically an automatic lawn mower or an automatic vacuum cleaner. These robots sometimes carry a semi-autonomous system to find its paths and the location for battery recharging. They normally carry an onboard computer that is programmed to organize the planning of paths for efficient lawn mowing or vacuum cleaning. Thus, the only self-governing decisions to make is turning aside when an obstacle projects in front or if the robot has reached the border of the operation area. These robots are designed to perform one dedicated operation only and cannot be used for other operations. Although these robots are very costly to produce, they stay inactive most of the time. Thus, there is a need for a self-governed robot that performs a plurality of operations.

Automated guided vehicles (AGV), such as an automatic forklift, are commonly used for picking up and delivering goods or parts in a locality such as a warehouse or a factory. These vehicles are usually guided by floor loops or tracks. Vehicles of this kind are specially made for specific retrieving transporting and depositing tasks. A system including a plurality of such automated guided vehicles is often expensive. It has limited utility and is only feasible when a task is to be performed a huge number of times. It is, however, advantageous where manual performance is less reliable, extremely expensive or hazardous to humans. Due to the expense and difficulty of installing such systems, as well as safety and obstacle considerations, they have not found much widespread use outside the manufacturing industry.

In other areas, wheeled service robots have been afforded greater interest in recent years. One example is a camera and sensor equipped robot designed for security patrols. Others are designed to defuse explosives while still another is designed to be a tour guide. Robots of this kind are designed to be mail and goods couriers, hotel servants and also garbage collectors. Other robots are specially designed to perform tasks in dangerous radioactive environments. Each of these known robots is made for a specific operation or a limited number of closely related operations. Attempts have been made to combine a plurality of operation possibilities to one robot only. Such a robot must then at all times carry around equipment for performing different operations, yet only one piece of equipment is used at a time. This leads to heavy and clumsy robots that demand much power.

Through U.S. Pat. No. 5,324,948 an apparatus for performing radiological surveys is previously known. The object of the apparatus, which is an autonomous robot, is to eliminate the survey being performed by manual scanning. Thus, an autonomous robot is provided, which is directed by wireless transmission from a stationary host computer to perform a survey along a predefined path. On an operation command of going “from point a to point b”, the program in the host computer sorts through its database of action files to find a path between the points. The host computer then downloads the most efficient path to the robot, which has an onboard computer. Once a path is downloaded, the robot acts autonomously until it reaches the end of the path. Typically the environment where the robot operated is made up of well-defined, unobstructed smooth surfaces.

The actual path planning is done by a host computer, not by the robot. To program the robot the operator first defines valid points in the area where the robot is to operate. Then the robot automatically finds its way along the path with the help of sensors mounted on the robot. Since the actions of the robot always are preprogrammed, the robot can not be regarded as being autonomous but merely automatic. There are no instances where the robot makes its own choice on where to go. All of its actions are programmed in advance.

The known robot is dedicated for one operation only. When not in use, the robot is resting at a docking station where it is recharged. Thus, an enormous amount of money is spent on a product which most of the time is resting and not given credit for. The performance is also very poor. The normal speed of the robot is about 9 meters per hour.

In an environment where the situation in which the robot must perform has moving people and objects in it, such as hospitals or the home, the robot must be able to make quick decisions to avoid collision with moving or temporary objects blocking its way. Not only must such a robot learn to navigate in a new environment, but must also quickly adapt to changes in the environment. These robots must also have special safety and avoidance mechanisms. An autonomous wheeled robot of this kind is previously known and designed to perform material transport operations in a hospital environment. In response to keyed-in commands, it transports pharmaceuticals, lab specimens, supplies, meals, medical records and radiology films. It has specific built-in compartments and trays for these tasks. This operation-dedicated robot has built-in sensors and a collision avoidance system to be able to perform in an environment with moving people and objects.

Providing a robot for general purposes having all of the above mentioned features will be very expensive due to development and maintenance costs for hardware and software. There are few individual applications outside of the manufacturing industry where these costs will not make the robot very expensive or will employ a robot which is used only occasionally. There are a great number of short duration tasks in the home, hospitals, laboratories and offices etc. where it would be desirable to have a robot, but where a separate operation-dedicated robot for each task would be unfeasible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to find ways to develop a robot system of the kind discussed above and eliminate or at least reduce one or a plurality of the drawbacks mentioned by way of introduction, whereby particularly a greater flexibility of a robot system is aimed at.

This object is achieved by a mobile robot system comprising an autonomous mobile robot and a plurality of mobile operation modules. The autonomous robot carries an on-board computer and comprises means for navigation, environmental sensing and communication. An operation module is typically designed to perform one or a plurality of related predetermined operations, such as lifting, transporting, vacuum cleaning etceteras. The system is designed to combine the autonomous robot and an operation module to a movable unit where the robot navigates the unit and the operation module performs the desired operation at a predetermined location. In this constellation, the robot has the intelligence and the operating module has the power. The same intelligent robot is thus used to control each of the operation modules. When a first operation is completed the mobile unit returns to a docking station where the robot parks the first operation module and then docks with a second operation module to form a second operation unit. On an order from a central command unit the new operation unit makes its way to a second location to perform a second operation.

According to the invention, these objects are achieved by a robot system, an autonomous robot, as well as by a method.

The mobile robot system has a plurality of different interchangeable operation modules which are selectively and autonomously dockable to the autonomous mobile robot. Such a system of a single autonomous mobile robot and a plurality of operation modules makes it economically feasible to develop robot applications to fulfil a plurality of operations. The many different specialized robots (e.g. for floor polishing, vacuum cleaning, storing and retrieving, surveillance, lifting and general transport) all have certain functions in common, for example the wheels, suspension and drive motor, the sensor and navigation and guidance system, the on-board transceiver interface for user and computer interaction as well as the computer power to support these functions. These functions in common are included in the single autonomous mobile robot which could then couple itself as required to one of any number of task-dedicated operation modules. It is thus economically feasible to make a major investment in the design and development of such a robot system. This would be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art navigational, speech recognition, communication and decision-making hardware and software, since the same autonomous mobile robot could then be used for a plurality of different applications.

The autonomous mobile robot comprises an on-board computer, a plurality of sensors, a signaling interface a mechanical coupling interface and communication means. The computer comprises a processor, memory means and a plurality of computer programs for controlling the robot. In the memory are stored digital maps of the present environment, navigation beacons and information of each and every operation module. The memory also carries ready to use strategies for navigation, orientation, maneuvering, communication as well as strategy for avoiding collisions. All information and programs are supplied by a network, such as a wireless local area network (LAN) or the Internet. The sensors comprise distance measuring means, such as an ultrasonic radar, sound measuring means, such as a microphone, and visual measurement system, such as a vision system including optics and an image sensor like an electronic device that is capable of transforming a light pattern (image) into an electric charge pattern, such as a Charge-Coupled-Device (CCD).

The signaling interface comprises protocols for sending and receiving signals, which carry information to and from sensors, operation modules and communication system. These signals are mainly sent on a local network which also comprises a wireless network. Thus the signal comprises a plurality of parts such as address, identity and messages.

The mechanical interface comprises a mechanical coupling to dock with the different operational modules. In a first embodiment, the mechanical interface comprises a gripping means on which the operation module is coupled. In an another embodiment, the mechanical interface comprises a hitch frame, which in one embodiment is rotatable around a axis normal to the longitudinal axis of the robot. In yet another embodiment, the hitch frame comprises a lowerable and raisable bar with one or a plurality of hooks.

The communication means comprises in a first embodiment a transmitter and a receiver for wireless communication. The communication medium is preferably electromagnetic waves but may also comprise sonic or a light communication medium.

The robot must be easily operated, without the need for complicated reprogramming. In a preferred embodiment, the robot is responding to spoken commands or commands sent via efficient communication means from a human or another computer or processor unit. In another preferred embodiment, they have extensive on-board computing capacity to be able to work autonomously, making their own decisions without requiring continual instructions and monitoring from an operator.

An autonomous robot of this type is quite sophisticated. Not only is it able to determine where it is, for example by means of an odometer and an accelerometer, calibrated to known fixed points in the environment, but it also has a sensor and monitoring system as well as a strategy for avoiding obstacles.

By introducing the robot system, resources are concentrated on the design and installation of an efficient power source, in most cases an on-board rechargeable battery pack. In a preferred embodiment, the autonomous robot decides on its own to go to a charging station when necessary and/or when not occupied by other tasks, and either charge its batteries or exchange battery packs leaving the spent pack at the station for recharging.

In a preferred embodiment such an autonomous robot, included in a system with a plurality of operation modules, is used almost continuously and thereby profitably in environments where individual task-dedicated autonomous robots, such as a floor polishing robots would not be profitable.

In a preferred embodiment, the operation module is provided with its own wheels. In this way they are storable and movable independently of the autonomous mobile robot and support their own loads. In another preferred embodiment, they are also provided with their own power means, for lifting etc. They also have means for electrical connection as well as means for signaling and interaction with the autonomous mobile robot. In this way, a docked operation module is capable of powering the autonomous robot.

An autonomous mobile robot normally has at least three wheels to be able to stand stable in an upright position. In a preferred embodiment, two of these wheels are used for driving and the third wheel is used for steering. In another preferred embodiment, the two wheels are moved separately and the third wheel is freely moveable in all direction in a horizontal plane. By rotating the two driving wheels at different speeds or in a remote direction, the robot is steered by those driving wheels. In this case the third wheel must be freely swivelable around a vertical axis. In another embodiment, the third wheel has both a driving and a steering function. In this case the two other wheels are used as tracking and stabilizing wheels. If more wheels are used, it would only result, especially when to ground is not flat, in one of the wheels being out of contact with the ground. If this wheel happens to be one of the driving wheels, the robot can not move correctly. This, of course, can be avoided by having suspended wheels. In another way this problem is avoided by having a horizontal axis functionality between the two pairs of wheels.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the robot comprises a cylinder shaped central body carried and is driven on two wheels or just one wheel. In this embodiment, the robot comprises a frame carrying the mechanical interface on a pair of wheels. The frame acts as a wagon to the central body and is attached to the central body by a coupling that allows the frame to swing around an axis parallel to the longitudinal axis through the central body.

According to the invention, the operation module has no wheels at all or any number of wheels. Most common would be two, three or four wheels. In any of these cases, the combined unit comprising an autonomous mobile robot and an operation module would have more than five wheels. According to the discussion above, this would result in an undefined contact with the ground. If one or more wheels are lifted or suspended on docking, this problem is solved. Then the combined unit would only have three wheels in firm contact with the ground. In one embodiment, the robot and the module are coupled with a coupling that allows rotation around an axis normal to a vertical connection plane between the robot and the module. In this way, four wheels are always in firm contact with the ground.

In yet another embodiment of the invention the robot has a coupling hatch by which the front end of an operational module is lifted such that only two or preferably no wheels are in firm contact with the ground. In an another preferred embodiment all, all but one or at least all but two wheels of the operation module are freely swivelable in all directions around an axis normal to the horizontal plane. In another preferred embodiment of a combined unit, one or two wheels of the operating module are in firm contact with the ground and thus act as tracking wheels. To accomplish this a pair of freely swivelable wheels on the mobile robot are locked in a longitudinal orientation for tracking when the autonomous mobile robot is uncoupled from an module. In another embodiment, this problem is solved by a raisable and lowerable tracking wheel of a fixed longitudinal orientation which is lowered for tracking when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to a wheeled module.

It is difficult to construct mathematical models for steering an autonomous mobile robot, which is coupled to a wheeled operation module, if the mathematical model must take into consideration the present orientation of the autonomous mobile robot in addition to the orientation of the wheeled operation module. This problem is dealt with by the axle construction. By making the coupling hitch frame pivotable relative to the driven wheel axle, the number and the complexity of the sensors on the autonomous mobile robot is decreased. The term “wheeled” in the claims is also intended to encompass wheeled robots having crawler or caterpillar tracks around the wheels.

An advantageous hitching means between the autonomous mobile robot and the selected operation module is defined whereby the coupling and decoupling is effected automatically without requiring that the center lines of the autonomous mobile robot and the operation module be in exact alignment before coupling.

The problem of automatically determining the length and orientation relative to the autonomous mobile robot of the operation module, and the presence or absence of obstacles beside the operation module is solved by the sensor constructions.

The present invention also encompasses a method of robotic performance of a plurality of tasks by means of the inventive mobile robot system incorporating at least one inventive autonomous mobile robot, whereby the robot receives a task command via the wireless communication interface and selects, approaches and couples itself with an appropriate operation module, performs a task and then decouples itself from said module. This is suitably performed using a computer program product, presented by any suitable medium, according to the invention for complete or partial processor-execution of the method.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The advantages of the present invention will become more apparent when read with the specification and drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram representing the robot system according to the invention;

FIG. 2 shows in perspective a first embodiment of the autonomous mobile robot included in the invention, in an extreme cut-away view (2 a) and in a view only slightly cut away (2 b);

FIGS. 3( a–g) shows, in accordance with the present invention, an autonomous mobile robot coupled to seven different operation modules;

FIGS. 4 a and 4 b show in perspective and from above another suitable articulated autonomous mobile robot in the system according to the invention;

FIGS. 5 a and 5 b show two different articulated autonomous mobile robots to be used in the system according to the invention;

FIGS. 6 a and 6 b show in perspective and from above a non-articulated autonomous mobile robot suitable for use in the system according to the invention;

FIG. 7 shows a telescoping sensor arrangement for mounting on the autonomous mobile robot;

FIGS. 8 a and 8 b show such a sensor arrangement mounted on the autonomous mobile robot of FIGS. 4 a and 6 a, respectively;

FIGS. 9 a and 9 b illustrate the scanning pattern of an infrared sensor arrangement; and

FIG. 10 schematically shows an autonomous mobile robot unit equipped, as an alternative, with a transverse boom with cameras for collision avoidance when taking corners.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

The basic principle of the present invention is illustrated schematically in FIG. 1, which is based around a specially designed autonomous mobile robot or autonomous mobile robot.

This universal autonomous mobile robot is provided with sophisticated navigation, steering and orientation systems, possibly comprising on-board maps, compasses, gyros and/or a GPS. As was mentioned above, the problems of design work, logistics and costs which are solved by having a universal central autonomous mobile robot, which automatically docks at and couples itself to one of a plurality of operation modules. For ease of storage, manual movement, ease of coupling and even weight distribution on the autonomous mobile robot/module unit, these operation modules are preferably borne on their own wheels. Just a very few examples of different operation modules usable in a hospital environment are: a meal-tray storage and distribution module, a lab-test storage and transport module, an X-ray transport module, a clean laundry loading and distribution module, a dirty laundry receiving, transport and unloading module, a vacuum cleaning module, a floor polishing module, modules for the retrieval and delivery of all manner of supplies, and modules for the reception and disposal of all manner of used supplies and waste. The robot and system according to the present invention used for many different tasks will always have a task which it performs with one of its operation modules and thus is used around the clock, thereby increasing still further the cost-benefit of the robot system.

Almost all of these above-mentioned modules will of course also be immediately useful together with the autonomous mobile robot in many other indoor environments such as, offices, light industry, goods distribution, hotels, prisons, airports etc. The same autonomous mobile robot is shown FIGS. 3( a–g) coupled to various operation modules. FIG. 3 a shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a tray transporter and storage compartment. Such an operation module will interact electronically with the autonomous mobile robot to receive instructions as to when to present which tray and to register delivery and/or reception. FIG. 3 b shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a cart, which will be identified by the autonomous mobile robot by means of bar codes or by an electronic chip connection. The autonomous mobile robot may also lift the front wheels of the cart when hitching up to it in order to facilitate sharp steering to one side or the other. FIG. 3 c shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a forklift operation module which has its own power means enabling it to interact with the autonomous mobile robot and perform lifting functions and FIG. 3 d shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a pallet truck operation module. FIG. 3 e shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a chair for people transport in an airport for example. FIG. 3 f shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a floor sweeper and/or polisher module and FIG. 3 g shows the autonomous mobile robot coupled to a vacuum cleaner module.

These above-mentioned examples are just very few of the many ways in which the system according to the invention is readily adaptable to new tasks by providing a new module but still using the same autonomous mobile robot, in which there are concentrated the functions of traction, navigation, steering, transceiving, safety sensing etc., functions which are difficult, time-consuming and expensive to design into a robot. The robot system according to the invention becomes economically feasible in environments of smaller size than the size required to make a task-dedicated robot, which requires a very large hospital unit for economic feasibility. The robot system according to the invention makes it possible to perform many more tasks than was previously possible. Its universal nature makes it also possible to use a number of identical robots in the same system.

A first embodiment of an automated guided vehicle or autonomous mobile robot for use in the system according to the invention is shown in FIGS. 2( a and b) of which the cutaway view in FIG. 2 a reveals more of the inside of the autonomous mobile robot than does FIG. 2 b. An elliptical or circular cylindrical body 1 contains the central components of the autonomous mobile robot which include an on-board central processing unit, and a guidance system which may include ultrasonic sensors. The autonomous mobile robot is provided with a driving and steering wheel 2 at the front, as well as a pair of non-driven wheels 3 and a freely swivelable support wheel 4 at the rear end. The autonomous mobile robot is also provided with a coupling hitch 5 for coupling to a chosen operation module. In this particular embodiment, the hitch is coupled to the operation module by backing towards the selected operation module with a hook bar 8 in its lowered position, and raising the hook bar 8 when the autonomous mobile robot senses that it has come into coupling position with a coupling bar mounted on the operation module. The front wheels of some of the operation modules will be raised above the floor in some cases to avoid steering problems. This will complete the automatic coupling.

The module is identified by various means, for example a bar code on each module.

Communication between the autonomous mobile robot and the module is effected in several different ways, which are known per se. Direct electrical contact can, of course, be established between the module and the autonomous mobile robot via the hook bar 8 and the coupling bar on the module, but infrared or so-called “Bluetooth” short range radio transceivers can also be used. It is also envisioned that wireless technology may also be used for communication between the user or a central computer system and the autonomous mobile robot.

Other versions of the autonomous mobile robot used in the system according to the invention are shown in FIGS. 4 a & b where FIG. 4 a shows a perspective view and FIG. 4 b shows a view from above of this embodiment which has two differentially driven wheels. In the embodiment in FIG. 4, parts corresponding to those in the embodiment of FIG. 2 have been given the same reference numerals. In this case the body 1 is completely circular.

As shown in FIG. 4 b, the body 1 together with two axle mounted drive wheels 2 is rotatable as a unit relative to a frame 10 which is borne on its own non-driven swivel mounted wheels 11 on which there is mounted a vertical hitching frame 12 with a raisable and lowerable hook bar 8. The wheel axle of the drive wheels 2 has its midpoint on the vertical center axis of the body and in order to steer in a certain desired direction, the body 1, axle and wheels 2 need only rotate as a unit relative to the frame 10 and then move forward in that direction. The rotation is effected by driving the wheels in opposite directions. This arrangement makes it easier to calculate the steering of the autonomous mobile robot/module unit than in the embodiment discussed above.

Since the operation modules are provided with wheels, the non-driven supporting wheels of the autonomous mobile robot, when it is coupled to an operation module, will slide laterally during turning, subjecting their axle(s) to excessive bending moment if they are not freely swivelable. But if they are freely swivelable, the mobile robot, when not coupled to an operation module will not track and its steering will be ambiguous making it impossible for the robot to calculate its steering path. Therefore, the wheels 11 on the frame 10 are made to be lockable by the mobile robot in a longitudinal orientation, i.e. perpendicular to the hook bar 8, for tracking when the autonomous mobile robot is uncoupled from an operation module.

In an another embodiment, this problem is solved by a raisable and lowerable tracking wheel 11 b (FIG. 4 b) of a fixed longitudinal orientation, which is lowered for tracking when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to a wheeled operation. If provided with the raisable and lowerable tracking wheel, the other wheels 2 can remain freely pivotable.

The coupling hitch 12 is pivotally mounted about the central vertical axis a of the autonomous mobile robot, which also passes through the midpoint of the axle carrying the driving wheels 2, which are fixed in this embodiment. This method of pivotally mounting the hitch in the autonomous mobile robot increases the ease with which the autonomous mobile robot is steered when coupled to a module. The steering computer needs to be less concerned with the orientation of the autonomous mobile robot itself when calculating how to navigate with the operation module along a certain desired path. The robot thus moves freely in any direction without having to consider the orientation and placement of the robot. An automobile, for example must be moved forward or backward to change its orientation. This feature makes the mathematical calculation by the autonomous mobile robot of the path to be taken much simpler since consideration must only be taken of the orientation and position of the operation module, which is monitored by sensor means which are described in more detail below.

FIGS. 5 a and 5 b show two alternative designs for an articulated autonomous mobile robot where the frame 10 and the body 1 are articulated relative to each other, preferably with means for forcibly swinging the frame 10 relative to the body 1 and for locking them at a certain angle relative to each other if this should prove necessary or desirable.

FIGS. 6 a and 6 b show still another version of an autonomous mobile robot to be used in the system according to the invention, wherein FIGS. 6 a and 6 b show a three-wheeled autonomous mobile robot in perspective and from above, respectively. Parts corresponding to those in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5 have been given the same reference numerals. In this embodiment of the three-wheeled autonomous mobile robot, the hitching frame 12 is not articulated to the body as in the embodiment shown in FIG. 4. Rather it is rigidly fixed to the autonomous mobile robot body. A hook bar 8 provided with two hooks 14 is raisable by means of a built-in pulley mechanism to couple the autonomous mobile robot to hook receiving means on the selected operation module. It is possible for the hook bar 8 to lift front wheels on the operation module off the floor to facilitate maneuvering. In this case, the autonomous mobile robot is driven and steered by a single wheel and is also provided with ultrasonic sensors 7. For movement alone, the hitching frame is provided in this embodiment with a raisable and lowerable tracking wheel 11′ since the steering would otherwise be ambiguous with the two swivel wheels 11.

FIG. 7 shows one form of a telescoping sensor arrangement 22 used for monitoring the operation module and its relation to the surroundings. It is shown in FIG. 8 a mounted on the autonomous mobile robot of FIG. 4 a and in FIG. 8 b mounted on the autonomous mobile robot of FIG. 6 a. Two sensors 18, which in this particular case are infrared distance measuring sensors, are directed rearwardly on either side of the coupled operation module. The sensors are sweepable over a desired sector by each being rotatable about a vertical axis 19 and a laterally directed horizontal axis 21. For correct positioning of the sensors in relation to the sides of the operation module, they are mounted on telescoping arms and the entire arrangement is rotationally adjustable about a vertical axis 20. All these above described movements of the sensors are servo-controlled by the robot.

With reference to FIGS. 9 a and 9 b, an unspecified operation module is coupled to an autonomous mobile robot 1 of the type shown in FIGS. 4 a, 4 b and 7 a. The infrared sensors 18 are extended by the arms 23 (see FIG. 7) to outside either side of the coupled operation module 3 and are directed backwards. Each sensor 18 spans a horizontal angular sector α and sweeps up and down over a vertical angular sector β. An object (in this case a corner) 25 is detected to one side of the operation module and the distance and direction thereto is registered by the autonomous mobile robot. The robot knows the dimensions (length, width, height, wheel placement and steering characteristics of the operation module), and then calculates how it must steer to reach its goal and at the same time avoid such obstacles as the corner 25. It will also continually monitor any obstacles and prompt a correction of the current calculated steering path should it become evident that it will not provide the desired obstacle avoidance. This sensor arrangement is also used to locate an operation module before coupling and for directing the autonomous mobile robot for coupling thereto. It is also used for backing the autonomous mobile robot with the operation module for parking thereof.

FIG. 10 shows an alternative means for surveillance along the sides of the autonomous mobile robot/module unit using a pair of cameras 17 instead of infrared sensors. It is intended to enable the unit to avoid collisions with walls and any objects which may come near one of the sides of the module. A boom 15 is permanently fixed transverse to the coupling hitch 5 in such a way that it is always parallel to the end wall of the module to which the autonomous mobile robot is coupled. On either side cameras 17 are mounted on brackets 16, which may be telescoping to adapt to different modules. When hitching up to the module, each camera can “see” the rear edge of the module and the processor of the autonomous mobile robot adjusts each camera to aim at the rear edge of the module, keeping the rear edge at a certain position in its field of view. When an object such as a wall, a cart, a person or other obstacle comes into the view of either camera, the software in the processor in the autonomous mobile robot calculates if there will occur a collision with that object if the steering angle of the steered wheel or wheels is kept the same, and adjusts it accordingly.

Claims (22)

1. A mobile robot system for performing a plurality of separate operations, the robot system comprising:
at least one autonomous wheeled mobile robot having at least one wheel-driving motor and comprising a coupling hitch frame, the coupling hitch frame comprising a horizontal bar including at least two upwardly directed hooks,
an on-board computer;
means for navigation, orientation, and maneuvering in an environment with moving obstacles;
a sensor system;
a wireless communication system operative to receive and send signals; and
a plurality of dockable operation modules and operative to be selectively coupled to the autonomous mobile robot to form an operation unit, wherein the autonomous wheeled mobile robot autonomously docks to the dockable operation modules, the bar being automatically lowerable to disengage from and automatically raisable to engage receiving means on each operation module.
2. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the operation modules comprise wheels.
3. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the operation modules are self-supporting.
4. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, further comprising:
electrical and signaling connection between the autonomous mobile robot and the operation modules.
5. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the operation modules comprises its own power means.
6. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the autonomous mobile robot comprises a pair of freely swivelable wheels that are selectively lockable in longitudinal orientation when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to an operation module.
7. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the autonomous mobile robot comprises a raisable and lowerable longitudinally oriented tracking wheel that is lowerable to floor contact when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to an operation module.
8. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the at least one driven wheel of the autonomous mobile robot is mounted on an axle that is pivotally mounted about a vertical axis passing through the midpoint of the axle.
9. The mobile robot system according to claim 8, wherein the coupling hitch frame is swivelable around an axis parallel to a longitudinal axis of the autonomous mobile robot.
10. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the autonomous mobile robot comprises at least a pair of rearwardly directed sensors, laterally mounted on either side of the autonomous mobile robot or its coupling hitch, whereby the orientation, length and position of an operation module and surrounding obstacles are sensed and processed by the on-board central processing unit.
11. The mobile robot system according to claim 10, wherein the rearwardly directed sensors are laterally telescopically mounted to be extended beyond the width of the operation module which is coupled to the autonomous mobile robot.
12. The mobile robot system according to claim 10, wherein the rearwardly directed sensors are ultrasonic sensors.
13. The mobile robot system according to claim 1, wherein the system includes a plurality of coordinated wheeled autonomous mobile robots.
14. An autonomous robot, comprising:
at least one wheel-driving motor;
at least one wheel driven by the motor;
an on-board computer;
means for navigation, orientation, and maneuvering in an environment with moving obstacles;
a sensor system;
a wireless communication system for receiving and sending signals; and
a coupling hitch frame for autonomous selective mechanical and/or electrical coupling to and uncoupling from one of a plurality of different interchangeable wheeled operation modules, wherein the coupling hitch frame comprises a horizontal bar including at least two upwardly directed hooks, the bar being automatically lowerable to disengage from, and automatically raisable to engage receiving means on each operation module.
15. The autonomous robot according to claim 14, wherein the autonomous robot comprises a pair of non-driven, freely swivelable wheels that are selectively lockable in a longitudinal orientation when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to an operation module.
16. The autonomous robot according to claim 14, wherein the autonomous mobile robot comprises a non-driven raisable and lowerable longitudinally oriented tracking wheel that is lowerable to floor contact when the autonomous mobile robot is not coupled to an operation module.
17. The autonomous robot according to claim 14, wherein the at least one driven wheel of the autonomous mobile robot is mounted on an axle that is pivotally mounted about a vertical axis passing through the midpoint of the axle.
18. The autonomous robot according to 17, wherein the coupling hitch frame is pivoted about said vertical axis.
19. The autonomous robot according to claim 14, further comprising:
at least two rearwardly directed sensors, laterally mounted on either side of the autonomous mobile robot or its coupling hitch frame, whereby the orientation, length and position of an operation module and surrounding obstacles can be sensed and processed by the on-board central processing unit.
20. The autonomous robot according to claim 19, wherein the rearwardly directed sensors are laterally telescopically mounted to be extended beyond the width of the operation module that is coupled to the autonomous mobile robot.
21. The autonomous mobile robot according to claim 19, wherein the rearwardly directed sensors are ultrasonic sensors.
22. A method for performing a plurality of separate operations with a mobile robot system comprising at least one autonomous wheeled mobile robot having at least one wheel-driving motor; an on-board computer; means for navigation, orientation, and maneuvering in an environment with moving obstacles; a sensor system; a wireless communication system for receiving and sending signals; and a coupling hitch frame, the coupling hitch frame comprising a horizontal bar including at least two upwardly directed hooks, the method comprising:
selecting an operation module in a docking station for a predetermined operation;
the robot autonomously docks with the operation module, makes electrical and signaling connection with the operation module, and forms an operation unit, wherein the docking comprises engaging the operation module with the coupling hitch;
the operation unit transports itself to an ordered location by the intelligence of the robot;
the operation is autonomously carried out by the operation module at the location; and
the operation unit autonomously returns to the docking station where the robot and the operating module are autonomously undocked and disengaged from the coupling hitch, the bar being automatically lowerable to disengage from and automatically raisable to engage receiving means on each operation module.
US10433434 2000-12-04 2001-12-04 Robot system Active US7066291B2 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
SE0004465-1 2000-12-04
SE0004465 2000-12-04
PCT/SE2001/002671 WO2002045915A1 (en) 2000-12-04 2001-12-04 Robot system

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20040093650A1 true US20040093650A1 (en) 2004-05-13
US7066291B2 true US7066291B2 (en) 2006-06-27

Family

ID=20282081

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10433434 Active US7066291B2 (en) 2000-12-04 2001-12-04 Robot system

Country Status (3)

Country Link
US (1) US7066291B2 (en)
DE (1) DE10196988T5 (en)
WO (1) WO2002045915A1 (en)

Cited By (74)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050046569A1 (en) * 2001-11-21 2005-03-03 Spriggs Timothy John Detection of undesired objects on surfaces
US20050165508A1 (en) * 2002-10-01 2005-07-28 Fujitsu Limited Robot
US20060045679A1 (en) * 2004-08-16 2006-03-02 Eric Ostendorff Robotic retrieval apparatus
US20060108960A1 (en) * 2002-07-18 2006-05-25 Michiharu Tanaka Robot controller and robot system
US20060197772A1 (en) * 2005-03-01 2006-09-07 Zhongqi Liu Apparatus and method for mobile thermal texture mapping
US20070050937A1 (en) * 2005-09-05 2007-03-08 Samsung Gwangju Electronics Co., Ltd. Mobile robot system having a plurality of exchangeable work modules and method of controlling the same
US20070129849A1 (en) * 2005-10-14 2007-06-07 Aldo Zini Robotic ordering and delivery apparatuses, systems and methods
US20080140253A1 (en) * 2006-12-12 2008-06-12 Brown Rohn A Automated self powered waste container
US20080161672A1 (en) * 2006-10-17 2008-07-03 General Electric Company Self-guided portable medical diagnostic system
US20080172146A1 (en) * 2007-01-12 2008-07-17 Chen-Wei Lin Robot platform provided with changeable/expandable module
US20080231227A1 (en) * 2003-11-25 2008-09-25 International Business Machines Corporation Nesting Negotiation for Self-Mobile Devices
US20080247506A1 (en) * 2006-12-22 2008-10-09 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft System for carrying out and monitoring minimally-invasive interventions
US20090007366A1 (en) * 2005-12-02 2009-01-08 Irobot Corporation Coverage Robot Mobility
US20100171826A1 (en) * 2006-04-12 2010-07-08 Store Eyes, Inc. Method for measuring retail display and compliance
US7837958B2 (en) 2004-11-23 2010-11-23 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Device and methods of providing air purification in combination with superficial floor cleaning
US20110130708A1 (en) * 2009-05-13 2011-06-02 Minnow Medical, Inc. Directional Delivery of Energy and Bioactives
US20120165977A1 (en) * 2010-12-24 2012-06-28 Microsoft Corporation Robotic Drive System Modularity
US20120169497A1 (en) * 2010-12-30 2012-07-05 Mark Steven Schnittman Debris monitoring
US8239992B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2012-08-14 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US8253368B2 (en) 2004-01-28 2012-08-28 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US8368339B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2013-02-05 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US8374721B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-02-12 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US8380350B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-02-19 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8386081B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-02-26 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8382906B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2013-02-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US8390251B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2013-03-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US8387193B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2013-03-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8396592B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2013-03-12 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8412377B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2013-04-02 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8417383B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2013-04-09 Irobot Corporation Detecting robot stasis
US8418303B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2013-04-16 Irobot Corporation Cleaning robot roller processing
US8428778B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-04-23 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8463438B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2013-06-11 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8474090B2 (en) 2002-01-03 2013-07-02 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US8515578B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-08-20 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8584305B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-11-19 Irobot Corporation Modular robot
US8594840B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2013-11-26 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous robot
US8628629B2 (en) * 2010-11-02 2014-01-14 Terydon, Inc. Method and apparatus for cleaning elongated tubes
US20140116469A1 (en) * 2012-10-26 2014-05-01 Sangyun KIM Robot cleaner system and control method of the same
US8739355B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-06-03 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US8774970B2 (en) 2009-06-11 2014-07-08 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Trainable multi-mode floor cleaning device
US8780342B2 (en) 2004-03-29 2014-07-15 Irobot Corporation Methods and apparatus for position estimation using reflected light sources
US8788092B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8800107B2 (en) 2010-02-16 2014-08-12 Irobot Corporation Vacuum brush
US8930023B2 (en) 2009-11-06 2015-01-06 Irobot Corporation Localization by learning of wave-signal distributions
US8972052B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US20150063960A1 (en) * 2013-09-04 2015-03-05 Itrack Llc Positioning of a mobile platform using a bumper
US8998554B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-04-07 Symbotic Llc Multilevel vertical conveyor platform guides
US9008835B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2015-04-14 Irobot Corporation Remote control scheduler and method for autonomous robotic device
US9008884B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-04-14 Symbotic Llc Bot position sensing
US9051120B2 (en) 2009-04-10 2015-06-09 Symbotic Llc Control system for storage and retrieval systems
US9082112B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-07-14 Symbotic, LLC Autonomous transport vehicle charging system
WO2015120473A1 (en) * 2014-02-10 2015-08-13 Savioke Inc. Entryway based authentication system
US20150242806A1 (en) * 2014-02-25 2015-08-27 Savioke, Inc. Entryway Based Authentication System
US9150119B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-10-06 Aesynt Incorporated Apparatuses, systems, and methods for anticipating and delivering medications from a central pharmacy to a patient using a track based transport system
US9242800B2 (en) 2011-09-09 2016-01-26 Symbotic, LLC Storage and retrieval system case unit detection
US9320398B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-04-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robots
USD760649S1 (en) 2015-06-22 2016-07-05 Mtd Products Inc Docking station
US20160259346A1 (en) * 2015-03-06 2016-09-08 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
US9469208B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Symbotic, LLC Rover charging system
US9475649B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2016-10-25 Symbolic, LLC Pickface builder for storage and retrieval systems
US9481517B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-11-01 Symbotic, LLC Multiposition lift
US9511945B2 (en) 2012-10-12 2016-12-06 Aesynt Incorporated Apparatuses, systems, and methods for transporting medications from a central pharmacy to a patient in a healthcare facility
US9519882B2 (en) 2013-07-25 2016-12-13 IAM Robotics, LLC Autonomous mobile bin storage and retrieval system
US20160368464A1 (en) * 2015-06-17 2016-12-22 Ample Inc. Robot Assisted Modular Battery Interchanging System
US9542746B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-01-10 Xerox Corporation Method and system for spatial characterization of an imaging system
US9659204B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-05-23 Conduent Business Services, Llc Image processing methods and systems for barcode and/or product label recognition
EP3105696A4 (en) * 2014-02-10 2017-10-11 Savioke Inc Entryway based authentication system
US9802761B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-10-31 Symbotic, LLC Automated storage and retrieval system
US9864371B2 (en) 2015-03-10 2018-01-09 John Bean Technologies Corporation Automated guided vehicle system
US9886036B2 (en) 2014-02-10 2018-02-06 John Bean Technologies Corporation Routing of automated guided vehicles
GB2542472B (en) * 2015-07-17 2018-02-07 Wal-Mart Stores Inc Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
US9928438B2 (en) 2016-03-10 2018-03-27 Conduent Business Services, Llc High accuracy localization system and method for retail store profiling via product image recognition and its corresponding dimension database
US9988213B2 (en) 2017-10-30 2018-06-05 Symbotic, LLC Automated storage and retrieval system

Families Citing this family (50)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2002039868A1 (en) * 2000-11-17 2002-05-23 Duplex Cleaning Machines Pty. Limited Sensors for robotic devices
EP1470460B1 (en) * 2002-01-31 2006-04-05 Solar & Robotics S.A. Improvement to a method for controlling an autonomous mobile robot et related device
US7117067B2 (en) * 2002-04-16 2006-10-03 Irobot Corporation System and methods for adaptive control of robotic devices
US7844364B2 (en) * 2002-04-16 2010-11-30 Irobot Corporation Systems and methods for dispersing and clustering a plurality of robotic devices
ES2208091B1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2005-03-16 Universidad De Malaga robotized system for service in greenhouses.
WO2004020267A3 (en) * 2002-08-30 2007-03-29 Aethon Inc Robotic cart pulling vehicle
JP2004237075A (en) * 2003-02-06 2004-08-26 Samsung Kwangju Electronics Co Ltd Robot cleaner system provided with external charger and connection method for robot cleaner to external charger
GB2398394B (en) * 2003-02-14 2006-05-17 Dyson Ltd An autonomous machine
DE10335568B4 (en) * 2003-07-31 2005-07-28 Daimlerchrysler Ag The robot system and method of use
KR100657530B1 (en) * 2005-03-31 2006-12-07 엘지전자 주식회사 A device for detecting lift of automatic travelling robot
US7720572B2 (en) * 2005-09-30 2010-05-18 Irobot Corporation Companion robot for personal interaction
US20070098528A1 (en) * 2005-10-27 2007-05-03 Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. System and method for parking vehicles
US20080022479A1 (en) * 2006-06-30 2008-01-31 Kong Zhao Power tool combination and synchronization control device
DE102006046689A1 (en) * 2006-09-29 2008-04-10 Siemens Ag Technical Medical Treatment System
US20080277391A1 (en) * 2007-05-07 2008-11-13 International Business Machines Corporation Mobile, Robotic Crate
WO2008151345A3 (en) * 2007-06-12 2009-05-14 Profactor Res And Solutions Gm Device for automatically docking application modules to a robot platform and device for providing and transporting application modules
JP4565229B2 (en) * 2007-12-10 2010-10-20 本田技研工業株式会社 robot
JP4899165B2 (en) * 2007-12-10 2012-03-21 本田技研工業株式会社 The legged mobile robot control system
US8287816B2 (en) 2008-04-18 2012-10-16 American Sterilizer Company Mobile device for transporting, tracking, and processing medical instruments
JP5337408B2 (en) * 2008-05-28 2013-11-06 村田機械株式会社 Autonomous moving body and movement control method thereof
US20100125968A1 (en) * 2008-11-26 2010-05-27 Howard Ho Automated apparatus and equipped trashcan
WO2010121356A1 (en) * 2009-04-24 2010-10-28 Storefront.Com Online Inc. Automated battery and data delivery system
US8666546B2 (en) 2009-07-10 2014-03-04 The Boeing Company Autonomous robotic platform
DK177145B1 (en) * 2010-02-16 2012-02-06 Ergolet Aps Drive unit for aids
DE102010018002B4 (en) * 2010-04-23 2016-03-10 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Transport trucks for transportation of medical and / or hygiene utensils on stations in hospitals or care facilities
JP5218479B2 (en) * 2010-06-10 2013-06-26 株式会社安川電機 Mobile systems
EP2630549A2 (en) * 2010-10-22 2013-08-28 KUKA Laboratories GmbH Autonomous vehicle, associated trailer and autonomous transportation system
KR101259822B1 (en) * 2010-11-12 2013-04-30 삼성중공업 주식회사 Moving appratus and method of working in hull block
DK2466409T3 (en) 2010-12-15 2014-06-23 Mt Robot Ag A method and apparatus for the automated management of a transport system
CA2831832A1 (en) 2011-04-11 2012-10-18 Crown Equipment Limited Method and apparatus for efficient scheduling for multiple automated non-holonomic vehicles using a coordinated path planner
US20140058634A1 (en) 2012-08-24 2014-02-27 Crown Equipment Limited Method and apparatus for using unique landmarks to locate industrial vehicles at start-up
WO2013074090A1 (en) * 2011-11-15 2013-05-23 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Mobilized sensor system
DE202012100646U1 (en) * 2012-02-27 2013-06-04 Kuka Systems Gmbh robotic assembly
JP6199029B2 (en) * 2012-12-24 2017-09-20 富士機械製造株式会社 Self-propelled assistance robot
US20150006005A1 (en) * 2013-07-01 2015-01-01 Steven Sounyoung Yu Autonomous Unmanned Road Vehicle for Making Deliveries
US9550624B2 (en) 2013-09-09 2017-01-24 Dematic Corp. Autonomous mobile picking
KR20150086074A (en) * 2014-01-17 2015-07-27 엘지전자 주식회사 robot cleaner and caring method of human using the same
US9535421B1 (en) * 2014-02-28 2017-01-03 Savioke, Inc. Mobile delivery robot with interior cargo space
US9971985B2 (en) * 2014-06-20 2018-05-15 Raj Abhyanker Train based community
CN105501321A (en) * 2014-10-11 2016-04-20 苏州宝时得电动工具有限公司 Self-motion robot
DK178498B1 (en) * 2015-04-13 2016-04-18 Mobile Ind Robots Aps Robotic vehicle to pull a cart
FR3037156A1 (en) * 2015-06-02 2016-12-09 Metrolab System for providing services, comprising a plurality of modular robots able to move in an autonomous way
JP1557809S (en) * 2015-06-30 2016-09-05
FR3039780B1 (en) * 2015-08-05 2017-07-21 Solystic Process for treatment packages with shuttles, pullout shelves and lift trucks shelved
US9776326B2 (en) * 2015-10-07 2017-10-03 X Development Llc Battery and hard drive exchange station for robots
DE102016201530A1 (en) * 2016-02-02 2017-08-03 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. Docking station for mobile robots and methods of operating a mobile robot
USD813920S1 (en) * 2016-04-12 2018-03-27 Yutou Technology (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd. Intelligent robot
DE202016003096U1 (en) * 2016-05-13 2017-08-16 Kuka Roboter Gmbh Autonomous vehicle environment sensor
DE102016116847A1 (en) 2016-09-08 2018-03-08 Telejet Kommunikations Gmbh Berge vehicle, bearing with a mountain-vehicle as well as methods for recovering crashed vehicles with a vehicle mountains
US20180104815A1 (en) * 2016-10-19 2018-04-19 Bin Yang Robot system

Citations (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4698775A (en) 1985-05-17 1987-10-06 Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Inc. Self-contained mobile reprogrammable automation device
US4736826A (en) 1985-04-22 1988-04-12 Remote Technology Corporation Remotely controlled and/or powered mobile robot with cable management arrangement
US4887223A (en) * 1985-08-30 1989-12-12 Texas Instruments Incorporated Visual navigation system for a mobile robot having capabilities of regenerating of hidden images
US4954962A (en) * 1988-09-06 1990-09-04 Transitions Research Corporation Visual navigation and obstacle avoidance structured light system
US5300869A (en) 1992-07-30 1994-04-05 Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. Nonholonomic camera space manipulation
US5324948A (en) 1992-10-27 1994-06-28 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of Energy Autonomous mobile robot for radiologic surveys
DE4425924A1 (en) 1994-07-21 1996-01-25 Siemens Ag Autonomous mobile unit with a space-saving method of controlling the manipulator and
US5525882A (en) * 1993-10-25 1996-06-11 International Business Machines Corporation Method and system for maneuvering a mobile robot
US5787545A (en) * 1994-07-04 1998-08-04 Colens; Andre Automatic machine and device for floor dusting
US5867800A (en) * 1994-03-29 1999-02-02 Aktiebolaget Electrolux Method and device for sensing of obstacles for an autonomous device
US5936240A (en) * 1996-01-30 1999-08-10 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of Energy Mobile autonomous robotic apparatus for radiologic characterization
WO2001038945A1 (en) 1999-11-24 2001-05-31 Personal Robotics, Inc. Autonomous multi-platform robot system
US6338013B1 (en) * 1999-03-19 2002-01-08 Bryan John Ruffner Multifunctional mobile appliance
US6430471B1 (en) * 1998-12-17 2002-08-06 Minolta Co., Ltd. Control system for controlling a mobile robot via communications line
US6453212B1 (en) * 2000-03-08 2002-09-17 Riken Method for mobile robot motion control
US6459955B1 (en) * 1999-11-18 2002-10-01 The Procter & Gamble Company Home cleaning robot
US6535793B2 (en) * 2000-05-01 2003-03-18 Irobot Corporation Method and system for remote control of mobile robot
US6651763B1 (en) * 1999-06-04 2003-11-25 Deka Products Limited Partnership Transporter oscillating alarm

Patent Citations (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4736826A (en) 1985-04-22 1988-04-12 Remote Technology Corporation Remotely controlled and/or powered mobile robot with cable management arrangement
US4698775A (en) 1985-05-17 1987-10-06 Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Inc. Self-contained mobile reprogrammable automation device
US4887223A (en) * 1985-08-30 1989-12-12 Texas Instruments Incorporated Visual navigation system for a mobile robot having capabilities of regenerating of hidden images
US4954962A (en) * 1988-09-06 1990-09-04 Transitions Research Corporation Visual navigation and obstacle avoidance structured light system
US5300869A (en) 1992-07-30 1994-04-05 Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc. Nonholonomic camera space manipulation
US5324948A (en) 1992-10-27 1994-06-28 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of Energy Autonomous mobile robot for radiologic surveys
US5525882A (en) * 1993-10-25 1996-06-11 International Business Machines Corporation Method and system for maneuvering a mobile robot
US5867800A (en) * 1994-03-29 1999-02-02 Aktiebolaget Electrolux Method and device for sensing of obstacles for an autonomous device
US5787545A (en) * 1994-07-04 1998-08-04 Colens; Andre Automatic machine and device for floor dusting
DE4425924A1 (en) 1994-07-21 1996-01-25 Siemens Ag Autonomous mobile unit with a space-saving method of controlling the manipulator and
US5936240A (en) * 1996-01-30 1999-08-10 The United States Of America As Represented By The United States Department Of Energy Mobile autonomous robotic apparatus for radiologic characterization
US6430471B1 (en) * 1998-12-17 2002-08-06 Minolta Co., Ltd. Control system for controlling a mobile robot via communications line
US6338013B1 (en) * 1999-03-19 2002-01-08 Bryan John Ruffner Multifunctional mobile appliance
US6651763B1 (en) * 1999-06-04 2003-11-25 Deka Products Limited Partnership Transporter oscillating alarm
US6459955B1 (en) * 1999-11-18 2002-10-01 The Procter & Gamble Company Home cleaning robot
WO2001038945A1 (en) 1999-11-24 2001-05-31 Personal Robotics, Inc. Autonomous multi-platform robot system
US6453212B1 (en) * 2000-03-08 2002-09-17 Riken Method for mobile robot motion control
US6535793B2 (en) * 2000-05-01 2003-03-18 Irobot Corporation Method and system for remote control of mobile robot

Non-Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
K. Ozaki et al., Synchronized Motion By Multiple Mobile Robots Using Communication, Proceedings of 1993 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Yokohama, Japan Jul. 26-30, 1993, pp. 1164-1170.
Ryo Kurazume et al., Cooperative Positioning with Multiple Robots, IEEE International Conference on Proceedings, May 8-13, Robotics and Automation 1994, pp. 1250-1257.
Tse Min Chen et al., Remote Supervisory Control of an Autonomous Mobile Robot Via World Wide Web, IEEE International Symposium Proceedings, Industrial Electronics, 1997, ISIE '97, pp. SS60-SS64.

Cited By (170)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9446521B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2016-09-20 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8788092B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8761935B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2014-06-24 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8565920B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2013-10-22 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8478442B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2013-07-02 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US8412377B2 (en) 2000-01-24 2013-04-02 Irobot Corporation Obstacle following sensor scheme for a mobile robot
US9144361B2 (en) 2000-04-04 2015-09-29 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US9582005B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2017-02-28 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US8368339B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2013-02-05 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US9167946B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2015-10-27 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor cleaning robot
US9038233B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2015-05-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US9622635B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2017-04-18 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US8686679B2 (en) 2001-01-24 2014-04-01 Irobot Corporation Robot confinement
US8396592B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2013-03-12 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US8463438B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2013-06-11 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US9104204B2 (en) 2001-06-12 2015-08-11 Irobot Corporation Method and system for multi-mode coverage for an autonomous robot
US7250849B2 (en) * 2001-11-21 2007-07-31 Roke Manor Research Limited Detection of undesired objects on surfaces
US20050046569A1 (en) * 2001-11-21 2005-03-03 Spriggs Timothy John Detection of undesired objects on surfaces
US8516651B2 (en) 2002-01-03 2013-08-27 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US8474090B2 (en) 2002-01-03 2013-07-02 Irobot Corporation Autonomous floor-cleaning robot
US9128486B2 (en) 2002-01-24 2015-09-08 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US7391178B2 (en) * 2002-07-18 2008-06-24 Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki Robot controller and robot system
US20060108960A1 (en) * 2002-07-18 2006-05-25 Michiharu Tanaka Robot controller and robot system
US8781626B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2014-07-15 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8793020B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2014-07-29 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US9949608B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2018-04-24 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8428778B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-04-23 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8386081B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-02-26 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US8515578B2 (en) 2002-09-13 2013-08-20 Irobot Corporation Navigational control system for a robotic device
US20050165508A1 (en) * 2002-10-01 2005-07-28 Fujitsu Limited Robot
US7218994B2 (en) * 2002-10-01 2007-05-15 Fujitsu Limited Robot
US20110082583A1 (en) * 2003-11-25 2011-04-07 International Business Machines Corporation Nesting Negotiation for Self-Mobile Devices
US8326458B2 (en) 2003-11-25 2012-12-04 International Business Machines Corporation Nesting negotiation for self-mobile devices
US20080231227A1 (en) * 2003-11-25 2008-09-25 International Business Machines Corporation Nesting Negotiation for Self-Mobile Devices
US7894940B2 (en) 2003-11-25 2011-02-22 International Business Machines Corporation Nesting negotiation for self-mobile devices
US8854001B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2014-10-07 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US8390251B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2013-03-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US9215957B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2015-12-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US8749196B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2014-06-10 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US8461803B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2013-06-11 Irobot Corporation Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods
US8253368B2 (en) 2004-01-28 2012-08-28 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US8598829B2 (en) 2004-01-28 2013-12-03 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US8456125B2 (en) 2004-01-28 2013-06-04 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US8378613B2 (en) 2004-01-28 2013-02-19 Irobot Corporation Debris sensor for cleaning apparatus
US8780342B2 (en) 2004-03-29 2014-07-15 Irobot Corporation Methods and apparatus for position estimation using reflected light sources
US9360300B2 (en) 2004-03-29 2016-06-07 Irobot Corporation Methods and apparatus for position estimation using reflected light sources
US9008835B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2015-04-14 Irobot Corporation Remote control scheduler and method for autonomous robotic device
US9486924B2 (en) 2004-06-24 2016-11-08 Irobot Corporation Remote control scheduler and method for autonomous robotic device
US9223749B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-12-29 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US9229454B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2016-01-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous mobile robot system
US8634956B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2014-01-21 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous robot
US8874264B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2014-10-28 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous robot
US8594840B1 (en) 2004-07-07 2013-11-26 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous robot
US8972052B2 (en) 2004-07-07 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Celestial navigation system for an autonomous vehicle
US20060045679A1 (en) * 2004-08-16 2006-03-02 Eric Ostendorff Robotic retrieval apparatus
US7837958B2 (en) 2004-11-23 2010-11-23 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Device and methods of providing air purification in combination with superficial floor cleaning
US8782848B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-07-22 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US8382906B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2013-02-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US8855813B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-10-07 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8392021B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2013-03-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US8387193B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2013-03-05 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8739355B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-06-03 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US9445702B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2016-09-20 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8670866B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-03-11 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8774966B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2014-07-08 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet and dry cleaning
US8966707B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2015-03-03 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for dry cleaning
US8985127B2 (en) 2005-02-18 2015-03-24 Irobot Corporation Autonomous surface cleaning robot for wet cleaning
US20060197772A1 (en) * 2005-03-01 2006-09-07 Zhongqi Liu Apparatus and method for mobile thermal texture mapping
US20070050937A1 (en) * 2005-09-05 2007-03-08 Samsung Gwangju Electronics Co., Ltd. Mobile robot system having a plurality of exchangeable work modules and method of controlling the same
US8918950B2 (en) * 2005-09-05 2014-12-30 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Mobile robot system having a plurality of exchangeable work modules and method of controlling the same
US20070129849A1 (en) * 2005-10-14 2007-06-07 Aldo Zini Robotic ordering and delivery apparatuses, systems and methods
US7996109B2 (en) * 2005-10-14 2011-08-09 Aethon, Inc. Robotic ordering and delivery apparatuses, systems and methods
US8761931B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-06-24 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US9392920B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-07-19 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US20090007366A1 (en) * 2005-12-02 2009-01-08 Irobot Corporation Coverage Robot Mobility
US9599990B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2017-03-21 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US9320398B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2016-04-26 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robots
US8954192B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-02-10 Irobot Corporation Navigating autonomous coverage robots
US8374721B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-02-12 Irobot Corporation Robot system
US8978196B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-03-17 Irobot Corporation Coverage robot mobility
US8661605B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2014-03-04 Irobot Corporation Coverage robot mobility
US8380350B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-02-19 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8606401B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-12-10 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8600553B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-12-03 Irobot Corporation Coverage robot mobility
US9144360B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-09-29 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot navigation system
US8584307B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-11-19 Irobot Corporation Modular robot
US8950038B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-02-10 Irobot Corporation Modular robot
US8584305B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2013-11-19 Irobot Corporation Modular robot
US9149170B2 (en) 2005-12-02 2015-10-06 Irobot Corporation Navigating autonomous coverage robots
US20100171826A1 (en) * 2006-04-12 2010-07-08 Store Eyes, Inc. Method for measuring retail display and compliance
US9955841B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2018-05-01 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US8418303B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2013-04-16 Irobot Corporation Cleaning robot roller processing
US8528157B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2013-09-10 Irobot Corporation Coverage robots and associated cleaning bins
US8572799B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2013-11-05 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US9492048B2 (en) 2006-05-19 2016-11-15 Irobot Corporation Removing debris from cleaning robots
US8417383B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2013-04-09 Irobot Corporation Detecting robot stasis
US9317038B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2016-04-19 Irobot Corporation Detecting robot stasis
US8983663B2 (en) * 2006-10-17 2015-03-17 General Electric Company Self-guided portable medical diagnostic system
US20080161672A1 (en) * 2006-10-17 2008-07-03 General Electric Company Self-guided portable medical diagnostic system
US20080140253A1 (en) * 2006-12-12 2008-06-12 Brown Rohn A Automated self powered waste container
US8335557B2 (en) * 2006-12-22 2012-12-18 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft System for carrying out and monitoring minimally-invasive interventions
US20080247506A1 (en) * 2006-12-22 2008-10-09 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft System for carrying out and monitoring minimally-invasive interventions
US20080172146A1 (en) * 2007-01-12 2008-07-17 Chen-Wei Lin Robot platform provided with changeable/expandable module
US8239992B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2012-08-14 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US9480381B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2016-11-01 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US8438695B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2013-05-14 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot sensing
US8839477B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2014-09-23 Irobot Corporation Compact autonomous coverage robot
US8726454B2 (en) 2007-05-09 2014-05-20 Irobot Corporation Autonomous coverage robot
US9771217B2 (en) 2009-04-10 2017-09-26 Symbotic, LLC Control system for storage and retrieval systems
US9051120B2 (en) 2009-04-10 2015-06-09 Symbotic Llc Control system for storage and retrieval systems
US20110130708A1 (en) * 2009-05-13 2011-06-02 Minnow Medical, Inc. Directional Delivery of Energy and Bioactives
US8774970B2 (en) 2009-06-11 2014-07-08 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Trainable multi-mode floor cleaning device
US8930023B2 (en) 2009-11-06 2015-01-06 Irobot Corporation Localization by learning of wave-signal distributions
US8800107B2 (en) 2010-02-16 2014-08-12 Irobot Corporation Vacuum brush
US8628629B2 (en) * 2010-11-02 2014-01-14 Terydon, Inc. Method and apparatus for cleaning elongated tubes
US9372037B2 (en) 2010-11-02 2016-06-21 Terydon, Inc. Method and apparatus for cleaning elongated tubes
US9082112B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-07-14 Symbotic, LLC Autonomous transport vehicle charging system
US9758049B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2017-09-12 Symbotic, LLC Autonomous transport vehicle charging system
US9371183B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2016-06-21 Symbotic, LLC Multilevel vertical conveyor platform guides
US9499062B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2016-11-22 Symbotic Llc Autonomous transport vehicle charging system
US9981808B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2018-05-29 Symbotic, LLC Pickface builder for storage and retrieval systems
US9475649B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2016-10-25 Symbolic, LLC Pickface builder for storage and retrieval systems
US9309050B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2016-04-12 Symbotic, LLC Bot position sensing
US8998554B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-04-07 Symbotic Llc Multilevel vertical conveyor platform guides
US9008884B2 (en) 2010-12-15 2015-04-14 Symbotic Llc Bot position sensing
US20120165977A1 (en) * 2010-12-24 2012-06-28 Microsoft Corporation Robotic Drive System Modularity
US8620489B2 (en) * 2010-12-24 2013-12-31 Microsoft Corporation Robotic drive system modularity
US8742926B2 (en) * 2010-12-30 2014-06-03 Irobot Corporation Debris monitoring
US20120169497A1 (en) * 2010-12-30 2012-07-05 Mark Steven Schnittman Debris monitoring
US9826872B2 (en) 2010-12-30 2017-11-28 Irobot Corporation Debris monitoring
US9233471B2 (en) 2010-12-30 2016-01-12 Irobot Corporation Debris monitoring
US9242800B2 (en) 2011-09-09 2016-01-26 Symbotic, LLC Storage and retrieval system case unit detection
US9776794B2 (en) 2011-09-09 2017-10-03 Symbotic, LLC Storage and retrieval system case unit detection
US9517885B2 (en) 2011-09-09 2016-12-13 Symbotic Llc Storage and retrieval system case unit detection
US9511945B2 (en) 2012-10-12 2016-12-06 Aesynt Incorporated Apparatuses, systems, and methods for transporting medications from a central pharmacy to a patient in a healthcare facility
US9993130B2 (en) 2012-10-26 2018-06-12 Lg Electronics Inc. Robot cleaner system and control method of the same
US9675226B2 (en) * 2012-10-26 2017-06-13 Lg Electronics Inc. Robot cleaner system and control method of the same
US20140116469A1 (en) * 2012-10-26 2014-05-01 Sangyun KIM Robot cleaner system and control method of the same
US9469208B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Symbotic, LLC Rover charging system
US9802761B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-10-31 Symbotic, LLC Automated storage and retrieval system
US9481517B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-11-01 Symbotic, LLC Multiposition lift
US9150119B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-10-06 Aesynt Incorporated Apparatuses, systems, and methods for anticipating and delivering medications from a central pharmacy to a patient using a track based transport system
US9785911B2 (en) 2013-07-25 2017-10-10 I AM Robotics, LLC System and method for piece-picking or put-away with a mobile manipulation robot
US9519882B2 (en) 2013-07-25 2016-12-13 IAM Robotics, LLC Autonomous mobile bin storage and retrieval system
US20150063960A1 (en) * 2013-09-04 2015-03-05 Itrack Llc Positioning of a mobile platform using a bumper
EP3105696A4 (en) * 2014-02-10 2017-10-11 Savioke Inc Entryway based authentication system
WO2015120473A1 (en) * 2014-02-10 2015-08-13 Savioke Inc. Entryway based authentication system
US9886036B2 (en) 2014-02-10 2018-02-06 John Bean Technologies Corporation Routing of automated guided vehicles
US20150242806A1 (en) * 2014-02-25 2015-08-27 Savioke, Inc. Entryway Based Authentication System
US9436926B2 (en) * 2014-02-25 2016-09-06 Savioke, Inc. Entryway based authentication system
US9659204B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-05-23 Conduent Business Services, Llc Image processing methods and systems for barcode and/or product label recognition
US9542746B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-01-10 Xerox Corporation Method and system for spatial characterization of an imaging system
US9908760B2 (en) * 2015-03-06 2018-03-06 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
US20160259346A1 (en) * 2015-03-06 2016-09-08 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
US9875503B2 (en) 2015-03-06 2018-01-23 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Method and apparatus for transporting a plurality of stacked motorized transport units
US9875502B2 (en) 2015-03-06 2018-01-23 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Shopping facility assistance systems, devices, and methods to identify security and safety anomalies
US9801517B2 (en) 2015-03-06 2017-10-31 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Shopping facility assistance object detection systems, devices and methods
US9896315B2 (en) 2015-03-06 2018-02-20 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Systems, devices and methods of controlling motorized transport units in fulfilling product orders
US9864371B2 (en) 2015-03-10 2018-01-09 John Bean Technologies Corporation Automated guided vehicle system
US9868421B2 (en) * 2015-06-17 2018-01-16 Ample, Inc. Robot assisted modular battery interchanging system
US9932019B2 (en) 2015-06-17 2018-04-03 Ample, Inc. Robot assisted modular battery interchanging system
US20160368464A1 (en) * 2015-06-17 2016-12-22 Ample Inc. Robot Assisted Modular Battery Interchanging System
USD760649S1 (en) 2015-06-22 2016-07-05 Mtd Products Inc Docking station
USD776054S1 (en) 2015-06-22 2017-01-10 Mtd Products Inc Docking station
GB2542472B (en) * 2015-07-17 2018-02-07 Wal-Mart Stores Inc Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
GB2555350A (en) * 2015-07-17 2018-04-25 Wal Mart Stores Inc Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
GB2555351A (en) * 2015-07-17 2018-04-25 Wal Mart Stores Inc Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers
US9994434B2 (en) 2016-03-04 2018-06-12 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Overriding control of motorize transport unit systems, devices and methods
US9928438B2 (en) 2016-03-10 2018-03-27 Conduent Business Services, Llc High accuracy localization system and method for retail store profiling via product image recognition and its corresponding dimension database
US9988213B2 (en) 2017-10-30 2018-06-05 Symbotic, LLC Automated storage and retrieval system

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO2002045915A1 (en) 2002-06-13 application
DE10196988T5 (en) 2004-04-15 application
US20040093650A1 (en) 2004-05-13 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
Cox Blanche-an experiment in guidance and navigation of an autonomous robot vehicle
US5170352A (en) Multi-purpose autonomous vehicle with path plotting
Ohya et al. Vision-based navigation by a mobile robot with obstacle avoidance using single-camera vision and ultrasonic sensing
US5321614A (en) Navigational control apparatus and method for autonomus vehicles
US20080027591A1 (en) Method and system for controlling a remote vehicle
US6496755B2 (en) Autonomous multi-platform robot system
US7054716B2 (en) Sentry robot system
US8139109B2 (en) Vision system for an autonomous vehicle
Volpe et al. The rocky 7 mars rover prototype
US7032763B1 (en) System and method for automatically guiding a gantry crane
US20050131645A1 (en) Machine having automatic transport with scanning and GPS functions
Huang et al. Localization and follow-the-leader control of a heterogeneous group of mobile robots
US5111401A (en) Navigational control system for an autonomous vehicle
US6836701B2 (en) Autonomous multi-platform robotic system
US8392065B2 (en) Leader-follower semi-autonomous vehicle with operator on side
US6370452B1 (en) Autonomous vehicle transit system
US20100063663A1 (en) Leader-follower fully autonomous vehicle with operator on side
US20040093116A1 (en) Material handling system using autonomous mobile drive units and movable inventory trays
US20040010337A1 (en) Material handling method using autonomous mobile drive units and movable inventory trays
US20050029029A1 (en) Robotic cart pulling vehicle
WO2001037060A1 (en) Home cleaning robot
US5155684A (en) Guiding an unmanned vehicle by reference to overhead features
US7539557B2 (en) Autonomous mobile robot
US20150025708A1 (en) Leader-Follower Fully-Autonomous Vehicle with Operator on Side
Madhavan et al. Distributed heterogeneous outdoor multi-robot localization

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: ABB AB, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MARTINS, GOSTA;HALLGREN, MATS;PETTINARO, GIOVANNI C.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:014813/0212;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030526 TO 20030529

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 4

AS Assignment

Owner name: MARTINS, GOSTA, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ABB AB;REEL/FRAME:029442/0129

Effective date: 20120913

Owner name: SKOOG, HANS, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ABB AB;REEL/FRAME:029442/0129

Effective date: 20120913

Owner name: ROBCAB AB, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SKOOG, HANS;MARTINS, GOSTA;REEL/FRAME:029442/0288

Effective date: 20121101

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 8

AS Assignment

Owner name: GERDINS HOLDING AB, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROBCAB AB;REEL/FRAME:044741/0435

Effective date: 20150824

Owner name: UNIBAP AB, SWEDEN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GERDINS HOLDING AB;REEL/FRAME:045039/0144

Effective date: 20160126

FEPP

Free format text: MAINTENANCE FEE REMINDER MAILED (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: REM.)

FEPP

Free format text: ENTITY STATUS SET TO SMALL (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: SMAL)

FEPP

Free format text: 11.5 YR SURCHARGE- LATE PMT W/IN 6 MO, SMALL ENTITY (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: M2556)

MAFP

Free format text: PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEE, 12TH YR, SMALL ENTITY (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: M2553)

Year of fee payment: 12